An old man, who I didn’t know, started talking to me on the sea front this morning - ”Don’t think I’ll walk so far today”.
Then he started telling me about a pain that had developed at the back of one leg. He was clearly concerned. Thought it might be a circulation issue. He talked, and I listened. That’s all I had to offer, and it seemed to be enough.
But it’s not always been that way. I’m never been a bad listener, but I have generally been someone, sometimes still am, who liked Weighing In on this or that topic. Whether it be health, politics, football, the state of the world etc, etc.
Opinions must out!
Or must they?
Let’s put it this way…
….No, they mustn’t.
Whether it be in conversations with friends or strangers in the street, or with the Big Wide World on the World Wide Web I’m finding that “First Listen” is good advice to myself.
Difficult advice to follow in a daily blog of course. It’s all about MY opinions. But still….better to speak only when I genuinely know. And if I must offer my opinion, better to provide safeguards for the listener and for myself:
“This is what I….think, believe, feel…about (insert subject). But, really, I don’t know”.
Please do feel free to hold me to account on this matter.
nb. Never the less, a big shout out to the voices out there (yes experts do exist) that do know, but still express their knowledge with humility, care, compassion and grace. Sometimes in the face of a storm.